30 March to 5 April: Data reveals the degree of global economic weakness in March

During the week, the JP Morgan Global Composite PMI was released, showing a fall to 39.4 in March, the second steepest monthly decline in its history and a 133-month low. The fall in the Global PMI in March is comparable with the magnitude during the Great Financial Crisis. Unsurprisingly, the monthly jobs report in the US broke the run of 113 consecutive monthly job gains. In March, non-farm payrolls declined by 701,000, whilst the unemployment rate rose to 4.4%. Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims spiked to 6.7 million, totalling 10 million in just two weeks.

Although it is already April, we are going to see hard economic data from February (e.g. Germany, the UK, India, etc.). Therefore, the actual impact of the coronavirus and lockdowns will only be partially reflected in them, if at all. During the week, the Fed is going to release the minutes of the last FOMC meeting (when the 100bp rate cut was delivered and the large-scale asset purchases were announced), which may shed further light on the Committee’s thinking-process.

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